they said the response was let's not get into that. >> the current scientology leader has been in charge for 27 years now. yet companies still is is an enigma to many. there's been some controversy surrounding the church in greece nears. a lot of it is controversy that surrounds him personally. you devote a lot of energy to reporting on david ms. h. was that a design as well year? >> you know, david ms. cabbages the brigham young of scientology often times you have a religious entrepreneurially juices met who created more minutes than.
many new religions are created, but they don't survive after the death of the charismatic leader because there's no person to follow a period david miscarriage save scientology. they saved it from the mistakes hubbard made. 1993 -day-old billion dollars for at the time. at the time, we at $129 million. they've decided we have to get our tax exemption. saturday go about it? been launched 2400 lawsuit against the irs and individual agents.
they hired private detectives to go around to conferences where they trail people and find out who's drinking too much, who was sleeping around to publish articles in the magazines about this and pass them the steps of 1111 constitution avenue, which is headquarters of the irs. they intimidated the irs. now whatever the merits of their case, those were the facts that surrounded their getting a tax exemption. it was -- you know, i just said they owed a billion dollars. the irs prime and $12 million did they forget the billion dollars. they gave them the authority to decide on their own which parts of the church are actually tax exempt. they even made our ron hubbard's novels scriptures those are also tax the m. it was such a thoroughgoing that
very. it's hard to even imagine. bear in mind, the irs is not the best equipped agency. but they are the only agency that has that authority. once the irs made that finding, the vast protections of the first amendment guarantees a religion that surrounded the church of scientology p. and protects the for many of the legal recourse is that they would ordinarily turn to you. >> one more question and then we will see what questions you all have. i'm going to ask a question that's on the minds of some people here. this book is not a flattering portrayal of scientology or l. ron hubbard. he is revered within the church. so, after the publication of
this book, how is it bad for you? >> well, you know, you've been through the same thing. a lot of legal threat. but you know, no actual follow-up on that. they did publish one of their freedom magazine. "the new yorker" came on some anniversary issue. every year around valentine's day, new yorker has its original cover. an old man in the top hat in the monocle looking at a butterfly. the name is eustace tilley. that name of the care there. so, that was the issue in which the paul haggis profile appeared. so freedom magazine is a
scientology magazine that came out other cartoon of eustace tilley that was me, with coming out. and it was a slam and even took shots at the fact checkers, which annoyed me a lot. but because i think there were feeling especially stone because the fact checkers at "the new yorker" are really good. there was one checker on the article full-time for six months. at the end, we had six checkers include the head of the checking department going through this stuff. there is a way of watching about a vindictive organization as you note very carefully. that's the way to go about it. now, i will say this talk by publication in britain.
and it may have different laws and may threaten to sue my publisher in a back out. then, an international, the raiders organization invited me to come to think that i talked to members of the house of lords because they were rewriting defamation laws. and they had to go. so i am hopeful that we will deal to publish in the wind. you know, it was a consideration when i first talked to the editor of "the new yorker," well before paul haggis to that of the church can we talked about my interest in writing about scientology and we were mindful of the fact that coming in now, the church had, for instance, when "time" magazine did an exposé, scientology suit "time" magazine. they lost every step along the
way, all the way to the supreme court. but it was the most expensive suit "time" magazine never defended. it took 10 years. i didn't want to put my magazine to that, nor did i want to spend 10 years making acquisitions. if you think there's a chilling effect, there is the chilling effect. but i think now, more people are writing about scientology. i want to commend you and your paper for all the work you've done that is opened up the possibility of seeing inside the church in a way that it's never been as visible before. >> so when he says there is a chilling effect, this is a guy who wrote about al qaeda. [laughter] >> do we have some questions from the group please click [applause]
>> i would like to add you, what do you think the secrets are behind quick divorce.com or scott and very little has instead about it and how did you feel that life is for the future? is there any danger for her in regard to scientology? >> well, i'm not an expert, but tom and my recent deposition set scientology was finishing its divorce, big surprise. my experience -- this has been unusual for me as a reporter. i've never been involved in a story with so many people that i want to talk to have signed nondisclosure agreements that are credibly punitive so that if
somebody who is close to tom cruise, for instance, were to tell her story, should these millions of dollars of regret be facing her. i'm not saying that's the truth with his former wives, but they've all been very quiet and people around cruz and people that are close into scientology often have signed such agreements. >> this is a pretty basic question. i would like for you to sell me a little bit about what is their the system? i mean, they are called the church. does that mean they believe in god, they believe in jesus? did they read the bible or a day worshipers to read the books? today have a creed? e-mail, the 10 commandments. what a scientology command? >> those are not naïve questions.
it is interesting because on the one hand, the church doles itself as a religion. on the other hand, builds itself a science. that's her scientology comes to. a technology that this is not really a pulley system. this is a step icepack guaranteed to succeed latter to spiritual unlike men. our ron hubbard had a perfect understanding of the human mind. if you follow these types, you will achieve a kind of enlightenment. god doesn't play a big role in scientology. there's a place for him. eight dynamics. i won't go into too much of the terminology. at the peak there's a place that's infinite, but not a clearly felt outlay. scientology will tell you you could be a southern baptist or jehovah's witnesses still be a scientologist. but a product that doesn't seem
to be the case. people are urged away from other belief systems to be fully subscribers to scientology. >> he touched on the entertainers and you read a lot about that in the tabloids newspapers. i was wondering about their counterparts in the political scheme of things on both the national and state levels they are, how much influence do they have like the attorney general i think one time did bring up whether they were called or not. it was decided they were not -- it would be tax-free. can you touch on that? >> yeah, especially celebrity members. it was -- if i remember
correctly, the bill had to do with especially children that wanted to prevent teachers from telling parents. it's a jail sentence for the teacher. i think kirstie alley and some other scientologist came to testify here from the florida legislature. scientologists like chicory unchallengeable to participate in germany about the oppression of scientology bear. in particular, i think travolta had a meeting with bill clinton that to reset the time when tom fogle to was playing bill clinton and primary colors.
clinton told him, i had a roommate who is a scientologist. he was a really good guy. at that point, the state department had written letters to foreign government, chastising them for pricing the church of scientology. so they did have an effect. >> i apologize, but we are out of time. i know. this is the worst job. i do apologize. [applause] >> here's a look at books being published this week.